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Vale de Capucha "Fossil" 2018

Vale de Capucha "Fossil" 2018

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The Details

50% Fernão Pires, 35% Arinto and 10% a blend of the regional varietals Alvarinho, Viosinho and Antão Vaz. The grapes are hand harvested, and then pressed whole cluster into a stainless steel tank to begin fermentation with native yeasts. Partially racked into old barrel, partially left in stainless, both then spend 20 months on the lees and go through full malolactic fermentation. Bottled unfined, unfiltered, with a touch of sulphur at bottling. Round and creamy like lemon custard, with a strong backbone of minerality. Rich yet refreshing.

A stone’s throw from the Atlantic ocean, Pedro Marques grew up on his family’s property among the vines. A fifth-generation winemaker, he broke from filial tradition by both formally studying and practicing viticulture - more specifically, organic viticulture. The thirteen hectare estate, led by Pedro, has pioneered a movement in the Torres Vedras DOC to move toward lower yield, more terroir-driven wines while historically the DOC has been known for its bulk production. He literally cut with the past in 2007 when replanting the vineyard with local, native grape varieties like Fernao Pires, Arinto, Gouveio, Alvarinho, Castelao, and Touriga Nacional. As such, these are young vines. The grapes are not necessarily the entire story though: the unique climate and rare soil of this estate vault the character of these wines into something truly profound. Salty, briny, stony: the air creates a sense of majesty; the soil is pristine limestone with deep age. These are kimmeridgian limestone hills, with token clay deposits, where fossils are nearly common. Unfined, unfiltered, no added SO2, and variously fermented/aged in stainless steel and demi-muids, these are precise wines of unparalleled freshness.

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